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Taxes in India can be categorized as direct and indirect taxes. Direct tax is a tax you pay on your income directly to the government. Indirect tax is a tax that somebody else collects on your behalf and pays to the government eg restaurants, theatres and e-commerce websites recover taxes from you on goods you purchase or a service you avail. This tax is, in turn, passed down to the government. Now, everyone has to file ITRs digitally except for super senior citizens (i.e. those aged 80 years and above) who are allowed to file their ITR in paper format. To file ITR electronically, one must be registered on the e-filing website of the income tax department.

The first step is to collect all the documents you will need to file your ITR such as Form 16, salary slips, and interest certificates. The documents will help you compute your gross taxable income and will provide you the details of tax deducted at source (TDS) from your income in FY 2018-19.Form 16 is a TDS certificate given by your employer, if tax is deducted from your salary income. Similarly, your bank is required to issue Form-16A for TDS deducted on interest payment to you on fixed deposits. Ensure that all the TDS certificates received by you from all the deductors are in the TRACES format.

TDS certificate received by you should be digitally signed. They will bear a check mark indicating that the signature is verified. Non-verified signatures on the TDS certificate will have a question mark over it. You will be required to verify it. Similarly, if you have redeemed mutual fund units in FY 2018-19, you can ask the mutual fund to provide the transaction statement and capital gains statement for the same. Remember this year, you will be required to pay tax on long-term capital gains from equity shares and equity mutual funds if the gains exceed Rs 1 lakh. The tax will be paid at 10 percent without any indexation benefit.

How to file ITR online?

  1. Using Acknowledgment Number (without login credentials)
    1. Visit the Income Tax Department

    2. On the left side of the homepage under the ‘Services’ tab, select the ‘ITR Status’ option.

    3. After selecting the option, you will be redirected to a new webpage where you will be required to provide your PAN, ITR acknowledgment number and captcha code.

    4. Submit the details and the status will be displayed on your device’s screen.

  2. By Using Login Credentials
    1. On the ‘Dashboard’, select ‘View Returns/Forms’ option.

    2. Select the Income Tax Returns option and the relevant assessment year from the drop-down menus and submit.

Common Mistakes at the time of filing Income Tax Return

  1. Selection of the wrong form

    One should select the correct ITR form based on the income and category of the taxpayer.

  2. Selection of the Wrong Assessment Year

    Correct assessment year must be ensured at the time of ITR filing; otherwise, it may attract double taxation and unwanted penalties.

  3. Incorrect input of details

    At the time if ITR, it must be ensured that personal information of the assessee such as name, address, E-mail Id, mobile number, PAN, date of birth are correct.

  4. Not disclosing the complete source of Income

    All the income generated from any source other than the primary reference must be fully revealed irrespective of the fact that it is taxable income or exempt.

  5. TDS is not reconciled with form 26AS

    Form 26AS must be reconciled with form 16.

  6. Verification of return

    After the Income tax return filing, it must be e-verified through net-banking, or EVC process on mobile number and via email.

What are the Benefits of Filing Income Tax Returns?

  1. Proper Documentation of Financials

    ITR Filing documents are proof of financials. Proper financial documentation is a must for availing loan or visa.

  2. To Avoid Notice from the Income Tax Authority

    In case of late or wrong submission of ITR, notice is served by the Income Tax department.

  3. Carry Forward Losses

    With ITR Filing, losses can be carried forward against house property & depreciation.

  4. Income Tax Refund

    At the time of Income Tax Return filing, you can claim for Income Tax Refund.

  5. For Speedy Visa Processing

    For speedy visa processing, embassies ask for the submission of Income Tax Return for the last 3 years.

What are the different ITR Deductions Available?

  1. Deduction under Section 80C

    The amount paid or deposited in PF, PPF, LIC premium paid, NSC (National Savings Certificate), ULIP, principal repayment of housing loan, tuition fees, term deposit in the bank, deposit in Senior Citizen savings scheme, etc.

  2. Deduction under Section 80D

    It can be claimed by individuals as well as HUF for medical insurance & preventive health checkup.

  3. Deduction under Section 80E

    Individuals can request for an 80E deduction for the repayment of interest on the loan, concerning a loan obtained for a higher education.

  4. Deduction under Section 80EE

    An additional deduction can be claimed under this section like interest paid on housing loan paid through EMI.

  5. Deduction under Section 80G

    The deduction under section 80G is claimed in respect of the donations to specific funds, charitable institutions.

Advantages of Filing Income Tax Return Online

  1. Every year, the deadline for filing of income tax returns is 31st Filing your tax returns a month or two in advance can help you finish the task rather quickly as you will face less congestion on the website, which tends to lag as the final date approaches.

  2. Not filing the income tax return in time can lead to penalties for each day until the payment is made. Filing of income tax return online offers you the convenience of filing your returns in time anytime and from anywhere.

  3. Filing of income tax online helps you keep a record of all the financial transactions with the IT Department in an efficient way. Whenever an individual or an organisation seeks a loan from any bank or financial institution, proof of income is required. This record can be your proof of income.

Frequently Asked Questions

ITR forms, whether filed manually or filed electronically, do not require any documents like proof of investment, TDS certificates, etc. However, these documents should be retained by the taxpayer and produced before the tax authorities when demanded in situations like assessment, inquiry, etc.

If you have not filed your returns within the due date, you will have to pay a penalty of Rs. 5,000. You will also have to pay interest on tax due.

Form 26AS is a statement that shows the details of tax credit in a tax-payer’s account as per the I-T Department’s records. The tax credit will include all the different taxes like TDS, self-assessment tax, advance tax etc.

  1. Annual compliance filling – Compliances which are required to be made once in a year by all the companies incorporated under the Companies Act, 1956.
  2. Other Compliance filling – Compliances which are required to be made from time to time on various events.

Once Income Tax Returns are filed, you need to verify it. It is not treated as valid until it is verified by the taxpayer. There are different ways of verification. It can be printed, signed and sent to Centralised Processing Centre, Bengaluru. It can be e-verified using an electronic verification code (EVC), Aadhar, ATMS, netbanking or bank account based validation.